News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

Pellegrini, ex-Man City boss now in China

Pellegrini: Joins Chinese club side

Manuel Pellegrini, the former Manchester City manager has been appointed by the Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune.

Pellegrini, who was replaced by Pep Guardiola in June despite winning the Premier League in 2014 and guiding Manchester City to the semi-finals of the Champions League last season, is the latest high-profile manager to move to the booming Chinese Super League, joining Luis Felipe Scolari and Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Currently fifth in the Chinese Super League with seven matches remaining, Hebei’s squad includes the former Arsenal striker Gervinho, the one-time Chelsea youngster Gaël Kakuta and Argentina’s Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Pellegrini, who will be 63 on 16 September, had previously hinted his desire to remain in the Premier League and also told the Guardian in May that he would consider retiring if he did not receive an offer that interested him.

The Chilean, a civil engineer and  a former footballer began coaching  in his native Chile and subsequently Argentina.

He  has won national leagues in four different countries.

Pellegrini moved to Europe in 2004 to take the manager’s post at Villarreal. Under Pellegrini, Villarreal achieved a third-place finish in La Liga in 2004–05, a Champions League semi-final in 2005–06 and broke the big two in 2008 by securing a second-place finish in La Liga in 2007–08.

He was appointed Real Madrid manager there in 2009 and spent just one season, despite driving club as runner up to Barcelona and amassing record 96 points.

Pellegrini took up the manager’s role at Málaga in November 2010. He led Málaga to a fourth-place finish in his first full season and to qualification for the UEFA Champions League. He made it to the quarter-finals of the 2012–13 Champions League, becoming the only coach to take two different teams to the Champions League quarter-finals in their debut seasons in the competition.

In 2013, Pellegrini left Málaga for Manchester City, where he won the Football League Cup and Premier League in his first season as manager, in the process becoming the first manager from outside Europe to manage a team to the English Premier League title.